Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Leeks and Chickens

Leeks. I really enjoy leeks. I was first introduced to them probably 6 of 7 years ago. When my older brother Josiah was really into Redwall and cooking recipes that he found on the internet that were 'Redwall'. That was before Brian Jacques came out with his own recipe book for the Redwall recipes. Before than you could go on the internet and find all sorts of recipes labeled 'Redwall'.

Well, it was a dark night I remember, it was cozy in the house. It was sometime in the Autumn/Winter. We had a guest over, Miss Shelly (Joiner) as we called her. And that night Josiah made some bread and Leek Soup. That was the first I had tasted leeks. I liked the soup, but found it hard to believe that I liked it since the main ingredient, leek, was sorta like an onion.

Since than we have had leeks a few times, but not really more often than once or twice a year. Usually to make a British or Redwall recipe, usually called upon by Josiah.

Leeks are a member of the onion family. John Seymour, author of Self Sufficient Life and how to Live it, and several other books says that if you are only going to grow one member of the onion family, leeks are the thing to grow. It is used as the Welsh national emblem.

Leeks are a bit milder than onions. The stem, or bulb that you eat is tubular, long, usually from 7-12 inches and from 1/2" to 1 1/2" thick.

I do not know of something that bothers leeks, pest or disease. I grew some this year, a small patch, but plan to do more next year, if room allows.

I am selling a few leeks to a friend of mine, along with a couple of peppers and a cucumber. That is partly why I thought to write on the topic.

Chickens. I like chickens. I like eggs. I like chicken manure. All these are good reasons to get chickens, for my part. I am planning at this point to get 8 hens this Spring. Right now I am working on a design. I would like free range chickens, but don't have the space. So, what I will probably be looking at doing is having a moveable chicken coop, with some space around it for the chickens. Than, I would like to see about having the chickens graze on part of my garden beds. What I am thinking about doing is getting 4-5ft high chicken wire, and than posting that around one of my beds and having the chickens range in that one day, and than move it to a different part of the garden. Of course, when everything is full grown, I will have to figure out a few different things. I do have some space opposite the garden, a 'field' on a slope, 50x60ft. With 3ft tall grass. Maybe I could graze them on that too.

I am looking probably getting free range breed hens, so that they are hardy enough. I am going to have plenty of predators though, so the coop will have to be rodent proof. I know for certain that I have possums, coons, and occasionally neighbor dogs. I have snakes, snakes? Hmm.... Also owls, and night birds. During the day I have hawks.

What I will probably have to do is have the chicken coop and a little yard space. And than have another cage, that is 7ft wide, by 12 ft or something. I'm still figuring out stuff. If you have had chickens and have advice, I am glad to hear it.

We are going apple picking tomorrow!

English Vintner


  1. I successfully uploaded two photos! I wasn't sure if copy and pasting the chicken photo down lower was gonna work, but it did! Enjoy the pictures with the posts. : ) When I have time I will try to keep it up, using a photo with whatever I am talking about! :)

  2. This is where I will probably be buying them from. Probably Red Stars, since they lay through hot and cold, daily. It looks like for 8 chickens it will be around $35.

  3. Are leeks different than green onions? They look similar.

    Our neighbor has three chickens. They started out with 5 but 2 have since died. They also have a movable chicken coop so they plant the coop over a garden bed and in about 3 weeks it is ready to move. The raccons have only bothered them when they stored the chicken feed out side, and when they let the chickens out each day the hawks will not bother them if they are out side as well, but they are careful.
    The chicken coop has a upstairs roost acessable from a ramp up underneath which they lift like a drawbrige at night. This also discourages the foxes and raccons. I can email you a plan very similar to their's if you don't already have one. I had an idea of making several little 2ft by 2ft wire cages with each side being able to open. Then for a run you could just rearrange them to fit your needs...
    I need to refine my plan a bit but it might work.
    Our neighbors chickens lay about 1-2 eggs collectively per day in the summer and next to none in the winter but they barely eat that many, so they did not get chickens that are particularly layers.

  4. Green onions are actual onions, pulled early. Leeks are in another category.

    I would like to see the plans. I haven't thought of how I want to do it yet, just ideas.

    I am planning on having the chickens down by the garden, which is a little far from the house. So, while I hope for the best, I think I might have coon visitors. Hawks might not see them since I hope to get Red Stars, which are brownish red. Plus all the trees around, but than again, they do have good eye sight. I could let them 'free range' if I am doing garden work for an extended period of time down at the garden.

    I am thinking of building a chicken tractor, with a coop built into it. So I just move that around. Right now I am thinking 5ft wide, and 13ft long. 5ft tall. The coop being 5ft square, the sides going up 3ft, and than have a slanted roof...

    Like I said, bring on the advice and info, I am all ears.